Breath vs Breathe

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What’s the difference between them?

Breath

Meaning:

The act of inhaling and exhaling air.

Examples:

1. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves.

2. I could feel his breath on my neck.

3. I watched the smoke curl up, held my breath, and waited for something to happen.

Breathe

Meaning:

to take air into and expel it from the lungs; inhale and exhale.

Examples:

1. She closed her eyes and breather heavily.

2. When you exercise, remember to breathe slowly and deeply.

3. I love to breathe the fresh air in mountains.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Breath

1. Respiration

2. Exhale

3. Inhale

4. Intake of air

5. Inspiration

1. Asphyxiation

2. Suffocation

3. Strangulation

Breathe

1. Inhale

2. Exhale

3. Respire

4. Take a breath

5. Draw air in and out

1. Suffocate

2. Hold your breath

3. Strangle

4. Choke

5. Inhale

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Breath", "Breathe".

1. Remember that 'breath' is a noun and 'breathe' is a verb.

2. To help remember which one is which, associate the word 'breath' with other nouns such as 'air' or 'oxygen.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should 'breath' be used?

Breath is typically used to refer to the act of inhaling and exhaling air. For example, one might say 'I take a deep breath to relax my body.' It can also be used figuratively to refer to a situation or feeling, such as 'the silence filled the room like a heavy breath.'

When is the appropriate context for using 'breathe'?

Breathe is usually used to refer to the process of taking air into and expelling it from the lungs. In other words, one would say 'I breathe in and out to relax my body.' It can also be used figuratively to refer to situations or feelings, such as 'the warmth of the sun made me feel like I could breathe.'

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, breath is pronounced /breθ/, while breather is pronounced /briːð/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake people make is using 'breath' instead of 'breathe' when talking about the act of inhaling and exhaling air. Another mistake is using 'breathe' instead of 'breath' when referring to a situation or feeling. Lastly, some people mistakenly think that 'breath' and 'breathe' have different pronunciations - when in reality they are pronounced the same way.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. He had not taken a deep ________ in minutes.

2. She watched the steam rise off the cup of coffee, as she ________ in the smell.

3. The puppy was so excited that it was panting, trying to ________ faster than its tiny lungs could manage.

4. She took a ________ of fresh air after walking out of the stuffy room.

5. He had to focus on his ________ in order to stay calm.

6. He knew he had to concentrate and ________ deeply before making a speech.

1. He had not taken a deep breath in minutes.

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap is breath, because it is a noun that describes a single act of inhalation and exhalation.

2. She watched the steam rise off the cup of coffee, as she breathed in the smell.

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap is breathe, because it is a verb that describes an action of inhaling and exhaling.

3. The puppy was so excited that it was panting, trying to breathe faster than its tiny lungs could manage.

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap is breathe, because it is a verb that describes an action of inhaling and exhaling.

4. She took a breath of fresh air after walking out of the stuffy room.

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap is breath, because it is a noun that describes a single act of inhalation and exhalation.

5. He had to focus on his breath in order to stay calm.

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap is breath, because it is a noun that describes the action of inhaling and exhaling.

6. He knew he had to concentrate and breathe deeply before making a speech.

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap is breathe, because it is a verb that describes an action of inhaling and exhaling.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.